Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the apex regulatory body for the Nigerian capital market has extended the deadline for free e-Dividend registration in the country by 150 days.
The Commission is also going to bear the cost of registration on behalf of any investor who registered within the 150 days extension period but at the expiration of the grace period, subsequent registration of an investor would attract a fee of N100.
Director General of the agency, Mounir Gwarzo who announced this at the Post First Quarter Capital Market Committee Meeting in Lagos noted that the e-dividend management system which was launched last year in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) is intended to enable investors have direct access to their dividends and has so far enjoyed high level of compliance from the investing public.
According to him, within three months the public enlightenment programme began, the commission achieved over 4000 per cent growth in the number of investors that registered to have access to their dividends.
Gwarzo said the Commission’s concern was to bring back retail investors to the nation’s capital market.
“Our prayer is that in the next 10 years we will raise the participation of the retail investors to 45 per cent from less than two per cent presently,” he said.
Gwarzo said that this is one of the reasons why the Commission has embarked on various initiatives like e-Dividend, Direct Cash Settlement, National Investors Protection Fund (NIPF) among others to attract retail investors to the Market.
He said “We have pursued a lot of initiatives in the last year and we are pursuing more this year. We are taking it from a perspective that this market has never witnessed and the perspective is to address some of the lingering complaints of the investor. We believe that the retail investors are the owners of this market so our strategy should focus on them.
“As a country we have only less than two per cent participation of retail investors in our market. Malaysia has nine per cent, South Africa 19 per cent, USA 43 per cent, and UK 13 per cent. So our market is highly less being participated by the retail investors. Due to the dominance of the foreign investors, anytime they move out of the market the market goes down. Our effort is to see that in the next 5-10 years we raise the level of involvement of the retail investor to at least 5 percent”.